On the big day, stargazers a few hundred miles east of New Zealand will see the moon traverse the sun shortly after sunrise, creating a thin solar ring visible around the moon. (Picture a black dime stacked on top of a yellow nickel.) This phenomenon is known as an annular eclipse. As the moon´s shadow traces Earth´s curvature toward the equator, and the distance between Earth and the moon gets shorter, the shadow grows larger. For local observers, the moon will appear big enough to cover the sun, turning an annular eclipse into a total eclipse. About three hours later, the shadow grows smaller as the moon moves toward South America, where the total eclipse turns back into an annular one. The show ends 18 minutes later, when the eclipse fades away over Venezuela.